Reflecting 1916 – programme supported by Dublin City Council

Reflecting 1916 – programme supported by Dublin City Council

The exhibition: Gallery of Photography’s Reflecting 1916 exhibition featured photographs taken by eyewitnesses to this pivotal period in Ireland’s history, many shown in public for the first time.

A centrepiece installation of large-scale photos captured the destruction of Dublin and offered viewers a dramatic, immersive experience. This was contextualised by explorations of the use of photography to represent the idealism and growing militarism of the revolutionary generation. The wider use of photography as a vital tool for propaganda focussed on Roger Casement and his use of photography to highlight crimes against humanity. Casement’s own documentary photographs from the Putamayo offer an insight into his evolution from British imperialist to Irish revolutionary. A further sequence included images of the widows and orphans of the Rising that were reproduced in the Catholic Bulletin in 1916, highlighting how photography was used to sway public opinion in the immediate aftermath. The final section looked at how the Rising has been represented in subsequent commemorations.

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The exhibition was launched by an ArdMheara of Dublin Cliona Ní Dhalaigh. It was accompanied by a catalogue with essays contributed by leading writers and historians, Reflecting 1916 is an exploration of the role played by photography in shaping our memory of the Easter Rising. It draws from our rich photographic heritage held in national collections and private albums and includes photographs generously contributed by the Capuchins Ireland Archive; Dublin City Library and Archive; Irish Military Archives; Kilmainham Gaol; The National Library of Ireland /National Photographic Archive; The National Museum of Ireland; Pearse Museum; RTÉ Archives; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Trinity College Archives, UCD Archives and the John Osman Collection. Curated by Trish Lambe.

Organised in collaboration with RTÉ Reflecting the Rising in Partnership with Ireland 2016.

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